OXFORD City Stars have promoted from within for their latest recruit ahead of the new campaign.

Junior Stars D-Man Charlie Roche had his first taste of senior ice hockey last season, making 12 appearances.

The 17-year-old has bagged 11 goals in nine games for the junior side, all from defence.

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Stars head coach Simon Anderson told the club website: “Last year we called Charlie up from the junior club at first, just for an opportunity to train, as he really stood out in his age group.

“Right from the early stages, you could see he was comfortable making that step up and week after week, we saw constant improvement in his game.

“When we ran into injury problems during the season, the way Charlie was practising, we had no hesitation putting him into the line-up and playing him regularly.

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“Charlie really impressed me with his reading of the game, his high hockey IQ and his poise on the puck.

“At times, he was one of our best D out there and we started to trust him more and more in certain situations.

“I am delighted to be able to give him that opportunity next season, where we will continue to work with him and develop his game to an even higher level.

“The biggest thing about Charlie coming back to Stars is the message it sends to all of our young players in our junior club, that if you continue to work hard on your game, you will get the opportunity to pull on that yellow jersey.”

Roche follows two other signings announced in the last week.

English forward Bailey Hind-Pitcher joined the Stars midway through last season and had an immediate impact, with 14 goals and nine assists in just 13 games.

Stars head of hockey operations Shane Moore said of the 19-year-old: “He joined us in December last year, when his confidence was low, and instantly became a hit on and off the ice.

“He came up with some big goals last season for us and I have been getting chased by our fans to bring him back to Oxpens this coming season.

“His presence on the ice brings a level of excitement and energy to our team and our fans.”

D-Man Tom Ravenscroft took on the captaincy in a couple of games last season and rejoins having been with the Stars since the 2019/20 season.

Anderson said: “He has a good understanding of the game, skates well, is always in good shape and takes his hockey very seriously.

“These are the types of attributes I want and demand from my players and so I’m looking forward to seeing Tom develop further.”